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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jun 2, 2016

Love Me Tomorrow Movie Review: Everything Is So Unreal

‘LOVE ME TOMORROW’ probably started with the concept of pairing Piolo Pascual with Dawn Zulueta in a May-December romance, something that’s been done before in such Hollywood flicks as “Forty Carats” and “Say Hello to Yesterday”. The problem is that Dawn at 47 is not really that much older than Piolo who’s turning 40 in January, although his character in the movie is said to be only 35 years old.

In fairness to Piolo, he looks younger than his age but so does Dawn, which is why that scene where a nurse refers to Piolo as Dawn’s son is not at all believable. The movie starts and ends with Dawn as Cristy. The opening scene shows her wedding to Freddie Webb (made up to look much younger here) then we see her soon being widowed, with their two kids already leaving their nest to live abroad.

She finds a new career as a fashion designer and her rise to fame, even by escapist movie standards, is nothing short of meteoric. She is quickly given the chance to stage her own fashion show (with a sorry looking batch of models), then someone in Hongkong hastily gets her to also conquer the international fashion scene.

Piolo is JC, a DJ in a club who is an irresistible chick magnet. One of his ardent fans is Janine (Coleen Garcia), a model who willingly hops into bed with him. Then he figures in the usual cute meet with Dawn, whose pet dog is also named JC. As usual again, they start on the wrong foot but as may be expected in movies of this sort, they eventually fall in love.

The problem with the movie as written by Jeff Stelton and G3 San Diego, and helmed by Gino Santos, is that it’s all so unreal. The characters, the situations, you know they’re just all engineered and maneuvered to come up with pa-cute scenes that will please viewers who are suckers for escapist rom-coms that help divert their attention away from their normal everyday problems and humdrum kind of existence. And this kind of moviegoers (who are legion) won’t be disappointed as there are many humorous scenes that surely succeed in pleasing them, some of them provided by Carmi Martin as Dawn’s friend who’s an unabashed randy hedonistic cougar, and loving it.

The director is obviously so enamoured with the lead actor. This is so apparent in the scenes that show Piolo in various states of undress and with the camera lovingly caressing every inch of his well toned body. And Piolo really has a great time showing off the results of his workouts in the gym and trying to project that he’s younger than his real age. Honestly, after a while, this can be quite disconcerting.

Gino Santos is well known for movies that explore the world of today’s young people, like in ‘The Animals’ and ‘#Y’, and he does it here again in the bar scenes and in the beach party scene where, sadly, the poor-looking extras they hired look so inappropriate for the milieu of self-entitled young people they’re trying to portray on screen. But presenting a more serious narrative is still not his forte.

After making the viewers drool and salivate on the prospect of a sweet kilig romance between Piolo and Dawn, Santos and his writers suddenly decide that the relationship between a 47-year old widow and a slightly younger man just won’t work and Dawn decides to dump Piolo, who is shown crying buckets of tears on screen over her decision. In all fairness to him, he does it nicely, too, the crying binge. But we ourselves didn’t cry for him. We were more moved when his tokayo JC, the dog, died.

We can’t understand why they think that the relationship of a couple with vastly different ages won’t prosper . In these days when you hear people swearing age is just a number? Ask Vic and Pauleen. And you can also ask Ruffa Gutierrez and Aiko Melendez, as their current foreign boyfriends are younger than them and they look quite happy. We have our own sister who’s 14 years older than her husband and their marriage is still thriving successfully after nearly 30 years. So why do they have to break up Piolo and Dawn apart?
The only reason we see to abort the romance is for them to have a cuter ending. In an epilogue some years later, they see each other again by chance (so very Star Cinema) at the airport and whaddaya know, Piolo has a new girlfriend, Bea Alonzo with a very unbecoming and alienating hairstyle, while Dawn herself meets a new guy, Richard Gomez. This was just like the ending of “Starting Over Again” after Toni Gonzaga failed to snatch Piolo away from Iza Calzado and she meets various guest leading men, including now husband Paul Soriano.

The audience inside the theater really shrieked with delight when they saw Goma on screen. But there was no such reaction when Bea was shown, prompting someone behind us to quip: “Mas magsisigawan kung si KC Concepcion ang biglang lumabas diyan na bagong jowa ni Piolo.” But her companion is not convinced and says: “Mas maganda kung biglang ang kasama niya, si Sam Milby, di ba? Or si Yul Servo.” These people are such bitches, aren’t they? But Papa P is so critic-proof now that no matter how bitchy they are, his movies still hit it big.

Honestly, we think both Dawn and Piolo deserve a much better material. But the movie is making lots of money, so how can anyone argue with that? It’s being a blockbuster is the only thing that matters. Obviously, Star Cinema knows the right formula in making crowd pleasers like this that viewers will just lap up, no questions asked.

Also, Piolo as a more mature actor now is a much bigger draw at the box office than when he was doing movies like “Dreamboy” with Bea Alonzo, “Love Me Again” with Angel Locsin and “Every Breath You Take” with Angelica Panganiban that failed to make waves at the tills. Only his movies with Judy Ann Santos clicked then. He should now thank Toni Gonzaga as it was when they did “Starting Over Again” that his career got its much needed boost and his movies became blockbusters once more.

The one star who is really at the losing end in this movie is Coleen Garcia. After proving she can carry her own movie as a leading lady in “Ex with Benefits”, she now gets shortchanged here and is suddenly demoted to a supporting role as the pathetic third wheel who’s actively pursuing Piolo. But unfortunately, he looks at her as a mere Fubu (fuck buddy).

Coleen seems to always play slutty girls in Santos’ movies, freely indulging in casual sex with various men. And even after Dawn dumps Piolo, he doesn’t give her another chance or even another glance. She just goes missing and is never heard of again. She’s not even given her own epilogue scene where she finds new romance in Billy Crawford. Hu hu hu. So kawawa. We’re really sad for her.